I don’t pay for print advertising.
I don’t have to.
Actually, let me change that, I may consider it depending on the publication and potential for exposure AND sales.
There are so many forms of press coverage now that will get your company name out to the world and all it takes is a nice presentation. In addition to online reading, perhaps this is why magazine ad sales are down and some magazines are closing their doors.
Magazines need content as much as product lines want to be placed.
When I look at a magazine, I look at the print ad, but I stop and read the editorial. The editorial is the part that tells you why the product is so amazing, will change your life, and give you the love of your life and happiness beyond measure. They may also include your companies website so interested buyers can buy your wares.
I am always careful about budgeting. I funded my company, Travertine, with my own savings.
I don’t spend on speculative promises. I want to know what I get when I give you my money.
Years ago when I first sarted my business. I got a call from a woman who told me with great excitement that her magazine (that I had never heard of) was definitely doing a story on Travertine in the following weeks and asked if I want to buy an ad to go with it. It was a gut thing, I didn’t feel right. I trust my gut. She told me the price of the ad. I said no. She immediately dropped the price by 50%. I said I would think about it. I asked her where the magazine was sold. She said Barnes and Noble.
I went to the company website. It was very very basic. A $35 template. Barnes and Noble (many locations) did not carry and had never heard of the magazine. Basically, I would be funding whether or not they had an issue.
The inside knowledge here is that while some magazines may have extra space and need to fill in with a last minute ad, its typically to an existing customer, at a great deal. Also magazines schedule their editorial and ad content months in advance. Not 1 week. In the case above there was never any publication. Blogs, however, can post on the fly.
Yesterday I get a call from a magazine. One that I want to be in. Months and months ago we submitted a quick response to an editorial request on after sun care products. We submitted our Jojoba Hydrating Body Mist.
Yesterday, I received a voicemail from the magazine. I try to return all calls out of courtesy . . . but I knew this was an ad sales call. 10 minutes later I return the call.
Me: “Hi this is Terry Carter, returning your call.”
Saleswoman: “From which company?” This tells me that she is randomly cold calling people and not keeping track, it has only been about 10 minutes.
Me: “I’m returning your call, You called me.” (pause) “Travertine.”
Saleswoman: “Oh, yeah, we are thinking about putting you in the June issue for our Sun Products, has anyone called you about that? “I just wanted to see if you wanted to do a print ad to go along with the editorial, and it may not be an editorial but maybe a listing in our resource guide.” Read that again. What is she offering/selling/promising me? She doesn’t even know. By the way, the resource listing is the small print in the back.
Me: Uh, no I didn’t know that. No one called me. I’ll think about it. i.e. calling her bluff, are your going to print the editorial or only if I pay for a print ad?
Saleswoman: “Ok, well i’m on a deadline, do you think you can let me know by tomorrow.
Me: No. Our marketing our budget is set in the previous year. For me to receive a call and make a decision on the fly is not likely. Nor are we going to create an ad campaign in 12 hours. For VOGUE, GQ, Lucky or Spa, yes, for this magazine, no.
Want some free press? Check out the listings on HARO. Try to find the major media outlets. Good luck.